Limitations with how the federally-run health insurance exchanges present information misleads consumers and induces them to spend many thousands of dollars a year more than necessary on health coverage, according to Consumers’ Checkbook, a non-profit consumer advocacy organization and web site.

To illustrate the problem, Checkbook cites the way in which insurance options for a family of four in Chicago are presented on the federally-operated Illinois insurance exchange. Such a family is shown a list of 65 health plans ranked by premium cost, after adjustment for the tax credit subsidy the family can expect. First on the list is a bronze plan with a monthly premium of $93—far less than the $222 monthly premium for the same insurer’s silver plan much farther down the list.

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